Portland's Downtown District appoints new executive director

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PORTLAND — The new executive director of Portland’s Downtown District expressed excitement about her appointment in a July 10 news release.

“I want to help in any way that I can to facilitate the next phase of growth and development, while honoring Downtown Portland’s unique character and place in history,” Casey Gilbert said.

A New Hampshire native and graduate of the University of Vermont, Gilbert was appointed to replace former Executive Director Steve Hewins on July 1. Hewins, who operated a travel business, stepped down at the end of last month after serving two years.

Gilbert was most recently the executive director of Melbourne Main Street in Florida, while also managing a motel in Melbourne Beach. She was selected by a search committee of PPD board members.

Founded in 1992, the nonprofit PDD supports economic development on the city peninsula roughly from State to Franklin streets and between Cumberland Avenue and Commercial Street.

Events sponsored at least in part by PDD include the Old Port Festival, the annual Christmas Tree lighting in Monument Square, the inaugural Winterfest held in late January, and the monthly First Friday art walks along Congress Street.

PDD is funded through additional property tax assessments on district properties and its board includes city Economic Development Director Greg Mitchell and City Councilor Jon Hinck.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

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